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  1. April 22, 1961 First Walk-Off in Twins History In just the second home game in team history, the Twins and new expansion Senators played to a 4-4 tie through nine. With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the tenth, Zoilo Versalles drove in Earl Battey with a sac fly to center for the first walk-off win in Twins history, improving to 6-2 on the season. April 22, 1980 Eighty-Nine-Degree Home Opener After the Twins began the season with a 12-game west coast road trip, they returned to Bloomington for a balmy 89-degree home opener against the Angels. Geoff Zahn allowed just one run on six hits over nine innings. Hosken Powell, Ron Jackson, and Roy Smalley each homered in the 8-1 Twins win. April 22, 1986 Tapani Pitches No-Hitter Central Michigan University senior Kevin Tapani pitches a no-hitter at Eastern Michigan for a 10-0 win the second game of a Tuesday doubleheader. Central Michigan would go on to win their third-straight MAC title. Tapani was a walk-on at Central Michigan. His high school in Escanaba, MI did not have baseball team, although he was a state champion quarterback. April 22, 1988 Twins Day Goes From Bad to Worse Bert Blyleven gives up seven runs on nine hits and four hit batters in just 4.2 innings. Four of those runs came on a grand slam by Cleveland right fielder Cory Snyder. Center fielder Joe Carter added a grand slam of his own off Keith Atherton in the 11-6 Cleveland win. To add insult to injury, after the game the Twins traded Tom Brunansky to the Cardinals for clubhouse cancer Tommy frickin’ Herr. April 23, 1863 Birthdate of Lou Galvin Lou Galvin was born in St. Paul on this date in 1863. He went 0-2 in three starts with the 1884 St. Paul White Caps of the Union Association (generally considered a major league). April 23, 1961 Pitcher Kralick Delivers Twins’ Only RBI In the final game of the Twins’ first-ever home series, Jack Kralick pitches a four-hit shutout and drives in Billy Gardner in the fifth for the Twins’ only run in a 1-0 win over the new expansion Senators. The Twins improved to 7-2 on the season. April 23, 1980 Landreaux Begins Record Streak Ken Landreaux begins his team record 31-game hitting streak by breaking up Angels pitcher Bruce Kison’s no-hitter with a one-out double in the ninth. California held on to win 17-0. April 24, 1988 Tim Laudner hits three-run home runs in both the third and fourth innings as the Twins beat Cleveland 13-7. April 24, 1996 Five-RBI Game for Molitor and Myers Twins DH Paul Molitor and catcher Greg Myers collect five RBI each in a 24-11 Twins win at Tiger Stadium. Molitor went 2-for-5 with a home run, walk, reached on two fielder’s choices, and scored five runs. Myers went 5-for-6 with three runs scored. The Twins jumped out to a 6-1 lead after two innings, but had used three pitchers by the end of the third, and trailed 10-7 at the end of four innings. But they kept adding on, outscoring the Tigers 17-1 over the final five innings. They scored in every inning except the fourth. April 25, 1883 Birthdate of Russ Ford Minneapolis Central alumnus and seven-year major leaguer Russ Ford was born in Brandon, Manitoba on this date in 1883. The Ford family immigrated to the United States when Russell was three years old, eventually settling in Minneapolis. At age 27, Ford had one of the all-time great rookie seasons in baseball history with the New York Highlanders in 1910, going 26-6 with a 1.65 ERA and 0.881 WHIP. He won 22 games in 1911, for a total of 48 in his first two full seasons. He won 99 major league games altogether, pitching for the New York Highlanders/Yankees, and Buffalo Buffeds/Blues from 1909 to 1915. Read T. Kent Morgan and David Jones‘ SABR BioProject biography of Russ Ford. April 25, 1885 Birthdate of Hack Spencer Hack Spencer was born in St. Cloud on this date in 1885. He grew up in the Minneapolis area. He made his one and only major league appearance for the St. Louis Browns on April 18, 1912, allowing two runs on two hits in the final 1 2/3 innings of a 12-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Read Bob Tholkes‘ SABR BioProject biography of Hack Spencer. April 25, 1961 Fred Bruckbauer Has Career ERA of Infinity With the Twins trailing 7-2 after three in Kansas City, 22-year-old St. Mary’s High School(Sleepy Eye, MN) graduate Fred Bruckbauer makes his major league debut, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk before being pulled without recording an out. The Twins went on to lose 20-2. Unfortunately, this was Bruckbauer’s only major league appearance, making his career ERA infinity. Fred Bruckbauer was born in New Ulm. New Ulm native Doc Hamann also had a career ERA of infinity, giving up six runs without recording an out in his only major league appearance with Cleveland on September 21, 1922. April 25, 1971 Jim Kaat pitches a two-hit shutout for a 8-0 Twins win at Yankee Stadium. April 25–29, 1985 Twins Sweep A’s Kirby Puckett hits a walk-off single on Thursday, Tom Brunansky hits a walk-off home run on Friday, and Mickey Hatcher strings together nine consecutive hits between Saturday and Sunday in a four-game series sweep of the Athletics. April 25, 1989 Molitor Has 2-HR Game vs. Twins 1974 Cretin High School graduate and Golden Gophers all-time great Paul Molitor homers on Twins starter Roy Smith’s second pitch of the game, and reliever German Gonzalez’s first pitch of the eighth inning. The Brewers won 10-4 for the first of Bryan Clutterbuck’s two major league wins. April 26, 1986 Dome Deflates, Twins Collapse With the Twins beating the Angels 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth on a stormy night in Minneapolis, a tear causes the Metrodome roof to deflate. The L.A. Times described the scene, with “80-m.p.h. winds tearing holes in the fiberglass dome and whipping through the stadium, sending speakers and light standards swaying on their cables like yo-yos in a wind tunnel… Above the third base line, a geyser of water shot through a drainage hole in the roof, dousing a handful of spectators.” Remarkably, the roof was re-inflated with the game only being delayed nine minutes. The Twins went on to score once more in the eighth, with Mickey Hatcher driving in Steve Lombardozzi with a sacrifice fly for a 6-1 lead going into the ninth. Frank Viola gave up a leadoff double to Brian Downing and a two-run home run to George Hendrick before giving way to closer Ron Davis, still up 6-3. Davis gave up a single and two-run home run to the first two men he faced. With one out he walked pinch-hitter Reggie Jackson, representing the tying run. After striking out Bobby Grich for the second out, Ron Davis gave up a go-ahead, two-run homer to Wally Joyner, who had made his major league debut less than three weeks earlier. Tom Brunansky, Roy Smalley, and Gary Gaetti went down in order in the bottom of the ninth for a 7-6 Twins loss. April 27, 1903 Bender Pitches First Shutout After earning a win over Boston’s Cy Young in his major league debut, 19-year-old Crow Wing County native Charles Albert Bender makes his first start, pitching a shutout versus the New York Highlanders, opposing Hall of Fame pitcher Clark Griffith, the father of former Twins owner Calvin Griffith. Bender became the first Minnesotan inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1953. April 27, 1965 Pascual Hits Second Grand Slam Before even climbing the mound, Camilo Pascual hits the only grand slam by a pitcher in Twins history, staking himself to a 7-0 first-inning lead in Cleveland. He went on to pitch a heckuva game, allowing just two hits and two walks in an 11-1 Twins win. Pascual hit his first grand slam in the Senators’ final season in Washington, on August 14, 1960 in a 5-4 win in the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. The Senators won the second game 6-3 in 15 innings. April 27, 1969 Killebrew Hits 400th With two out in the top of the first of an afternoon game in Chicago, Harmon Killebrew hits his 400th career home run. Rod Carew hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give the Twins a 4-3 win. This was a fun boxscore to read. The top of the Twins lineup that afternoon went Tovar, Carew, Killebrew, Oliva, Alison. All told, Killebrew hit 573 home runs, fifth-most in baseball history at the time of his retirement. He hit 84 as a member of the Washington Senators, 14 as a Kansas City Royal in 1975, and 475 in a Twins uniform. April 27, 1994 Erickson Pitches No-Hitter Scott Erickson pitches the first no-hitter in Metrodome history as the Twins beat the Brewers 5-0. It is the third of five no-hitters in Twins history, and the first since Dean Chance in 1967. Erickson, who had led the American League with 20 wins and finished second in Cy Young balloting in 1991, was coming off a ‘93 season in which he led the league with 19 losses and 266 hits allowed. April 28, 1985 Hatcher Ties Oliva’s Consecutive Hits Record Mickey Hatcher goes 4-for-5 in a 10-1 Twins win over the Athletics at the Metrodome. He had gone 5-for-5 the previous day, giving him nine consecutive hits, tying Tony Oliva‘s team record set in 1967. Todd Walker matched the feat in 1998. April 28, 2010 Hughes Homers in First At-Bat Leading off the top of the third, Australia native Luke Hughes lifts Max Scherzer’s 2-2 pitch to right for an opposite field home run in his first major league at-bat. Hughes had originally come up to bat in the second, but Delmon Young was thrown out attempting to steal third for the third out of the inning. The Tigers won the game 11-6. Six Twins have homered in their first major league at-bat: Rick Renick, Dave McKay, Gary Gaetti, Andre David, Hughes, and Eddie Rosario. Between August 26 and September 20, 1981, Kent Hrbek, Tim Laudner, and Gary Gaetti each homered in their first major league game. April 29, 1962 Twins Hit Six Solo Home Runs The Twins hit six solo home runs in the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland. Lenny Green, Don Mincher, Zoilo Versalles, and Bill Tuttle hit one each, and Johnny Goryl hit two. The Twins scored in each inning except the third and ninth in the 7-3 win. The Twins did not hit a home run in the first game, which they won 8-4. April 29, 1986 Beane Goes 5-for-5 After going 3-for-21 in his first 17 major league games (four with the Twins), Billy Beane goes 5-for-5, including his first home run, in a 14-11 Twins loss at Yankee Stadium. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac on Facebook.
  2. Several members of the 1987 Minnesota Twins World Series championship team were on the 1500ESPN stage for a half-hour with Patrick Reusse on Friday night. Following the on-air portion, the players stayed on the stage along with their manager, Tom Kelly. Twins President Dave St. Peter came to the stage and announced to the crowd that the Twins would be adding an eighth bronze statue to their collection surrounding Target Field. Work has begun on a bronze statue of Twins manager Tom Kelly. “The Minnesota Twins are excited to have this opportunity to further celebrate and recognize the incredible career of the one-and-only Tom Kelly,” Twins President & CEO Dave St. Peter said. “Tom’s contributions to the Twins organization and Upper Midwest baseball community are quite significant. This statue will help memorialize Tom’s greatness and ensure future generations are aware of the T.K. story.”Kelly told reporters following the announcement that he has known for a couple of weeks. They are currently working on the pose, spending a lot of time on which uniform he'll be in. There was no timeline given for completion. Kelly joins several legendary Twins figures to be honored with a bronze statue including Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek, Calvin Griffith and the Pohlads (Carl and Eloise). Five years ago, Kelly's #10 was retired by the organization. As per usual, Kelly remained humble in talking about the honor, noting even his hesitance to promote it happening in previous years. He prefers to point out that the game is about the players on the field not their manager. And likely, that is why he was as successful as a manager and leader as he was. Here is a live twitter feed of the announcement as well as some of the conversation with Kelly afterward. Click here to view the article
  3. Kelly told reporters following the announcement that he has known for a couple of weeks. They are currently working on the pose, spending a lot of time on which uniform he'll be in. There was no timeline given for completion. Kelly joins several legendary Twins figures to be honored with a bronze statue including Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek, Calvin Griffith and the Pohlads (Carl and Eloise). Five years ago, Kelly's #10 was retired by the organization. As per usual, Kelly remained humble in talking about the honor, noting even his hesitance to promote it happening in previous years. He prefers to point out that the game is about the players on the field not their manager. And likely, that is why he was as successful as a manager and leader as he was. Here is a live twitter feed of the announcement as well as some of the conversation with Kelly afterward.
  4. And here is the Twins Almanac for the weekend of August 27-28, 2016. Mrs. Johnson and I have been busy getting settled here in Minnesota. It's good to be back after a decade out west. Look for a fresh batch of Twins trivia by open of business Monday. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160810_105324_zpsinrwxudh.jpg August 27 Happy 46th Birthday, Jim Thome It’s the birthday of Jim Thome, born in 1970 in Peoria, IL. He had already hit 564 home runs when he signed with the Minnesota Twins prior to the 2010 season. He hit a dramatic walk-off home run on August 17, 2010, the first Twins walk-off hit at Target Field. On August 15, 2011 Thome hit two opposite field home runs in Detroit, the 599th and 600th of his career. The Twins sold him to Cleveland 10 days later. In total he hit 40 home runs as a Twin. Thome, whose final season was 2012, officially retired on August 2, 2014 with 612 home runs. He hit 61 home runs against the Twins. The only team he more against was Detroit, 66. Jim Thome is eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2018. August 27, 1975 Kusick Ties Record, Blyleven Hurls Gem Craig Kusick tied a major league record by being beaned three times in the Twins’ game versus the Brewers in Milwaukee. That record stands to this day. Bert Blyleven, meanwhile, pitched an 11-inning shutout as the Twins won 1-0. Don Baylor, incidentally, owns the American League record for times hit-by-pitch in a career. He was beaned 267 times in his career played entirely in the AL. He was beaned four times while played for the 1987 World Series-champion Twins. August 27, 2012 Mauer Passes Battey for Most Games Caught Joe Mauer caught his 832nd game, surpassing Earl Battey for most games caught in Twins history. Battey played for Minnesota from 1961-’67. The game versus Seattle at Target Field was a pitchers duel between Felix Hernandez and rookie Liam Hendricks who would go the distance allowing only 3 hits. The Twins could only muster 5 hits off of Herndandez, with Mauer hitting a two-out single to center in the fourth. With the game still scoreless, Justin Morneau led-off the bottom of the seventh with a triple but was stranded there as three straight Twins batters grounded out. With Hendricks pitching a 2-hit shutout into the eighth, Seattle’s Eric Thames hit a leadoff home run and Seattle went on to win 1-0, with both Hendricks and Hernandez pitching complete games. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Laudner.82D.89DAS_zpsl4ir6evw.jpg August 28, 1981 Tim Laudner Homers in MLB Debut 1976 Park Center High School graduate Tim Laudner homered in his major league debut, a 6-0 Twins win versus the Tigers in Bloomington. Laudner singled in his first MLB at-bat leading off the third and worked a walk in his second at-bat. In the seventh inning, in his third big league at-bat, Laudner hit a home run driving in Gary Ward. He popped out to the catcher in his final at-bat. Minnesota-native Jerry Koosman entered the game in the seventh inning, earning a seven-out save. Laudner hit his second major league home run the following day against Tigers pitcher Dan Schatzeder who would later win game 6 of the 1987 World Series for the Twins. Laudner had hit a whopping 42 home runs at AA Orlando in ‘81. The 44 he hit in total between the minors and majors led all of professional baseball. Laudner was one of three Twins to homer in his major league debut in 1981. Just four days earlier Kent Hrbek -- who, like Laudner, had also played his high school ball in the Twin Cities area -- hit a twelfth-inning home run in his major league debut off of George Frazier at Yankee Stadium. Frazier, like Schatzeder, would also go on to pitch for the ‘87 Twins. On September 20th, Gary Gaetti homered in his first major league at-bat. Keep in touch with @@TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  5. Here are my picks for the top five worst All-Star selections in Twins history. I took into consideration the player's career WAR total and the season in which the player was elected but there have been some bad players who were able to put the title of All-Star next to their name. 5. Joe Mays, 2001 All-Star (Career 9.0 WAR) The 2001 season was the only year Mays finished with an ERA under 4.00 and it was also his lone season of pitching more than 200 innings. He would actually lead the entire league in ERA+ that season but the rest of his career was hardly All-Star worthy. He struggled with injuries and posted a career 5.05 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Almost all of his WAR value was accumulated during the 2001 campaign when he finished in the top 10 for WAR. 4. Dave Engle, 1984 All-Star (Career 3.9 WAR) Engle, the brother-in-law of Tom Brunansky, was the team's lone representative in 1984. He wasn't even having that great of a season when he was elected. He hit .266/.308/.353 with four home runs and 20 doubles during the 1984 campaign. He actually finished ninth on the team in WAR behind the likes of Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett, and Gary Gaetti. Maybe he was being rewarded for his 1983 season where he combined for a .800 OPS with 34 extra-base hits. 3. Tim Laudner, 1988 All-Star (Career 3.2 WAR) The two catchers on the AL roster in 1988 were Terry Steinbach and Tim Laudner. Minnesota was coming off the World Series victory and more of the team's players were represented on the roster including Kirby Puckett, Frank Viola, Jeff Reardon and Gary Gaetti. Laudner played in a career-high 117 games in 1988 and hit .251/.316/.408 with 13 home runs and 18 doubles. However, he allowed the second most stolen bases in the AL and he would play only one more season at the big league level. 2. Eduardo Nunez, 2016 All-Star (Career 2.1 WAR) Nunez is thriving in one of his first opportunities to play on a regular basis. He played in 112 games for the Yankees in 2011 but those games resulted in a negative WAR total for the season (-0.5 WAR). His time in Minnesota has been more productive as he has been worth 3.7 WAR over the last three years. The Twins are bad this year and someone had to represent the team. My vote would have been for Brian Dozier but they didn't ask me. 1. Ron Coomer, 1999 All-Star (Career 1.4 WAR) The 1999 version of the Twins went 63-97 so there wasn't much to be excited about. Players like Corey Koskie, Jacque Jones and Terry Steinbach might have been more deserving of an All-Star selection as Koskie's WAR ended up being more than three times that of Coomer. Mr. Coomer was in a stretch of five straight seasons with 12 home runs or more and he combined for a .744 OPS during that stretch. In an era where baseballs were flying out of stadiums at a record pace, Coomer got to be on the same roster as the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez, and Jim Thome. There are my top-five worst Twins All-Stars of all-time. Should someone else have made the list? Who would be your worst Twins All-Star? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  6. If someone would have told me at the beginning of the season that Eduardo Nunez would be the Twins All-Star representative, I would have laughed in his face. Nunez is having a great first half of the season but he doesn't exactly conjure up thoughts of being one of the best players in baseball. Every team gets an All-Star and there could be a lengthy discussion over the validity of this practice. It gives each team's individual fan base someone to root for in the game. The best players might not always be on the field but that's not always what the Mid-Summer Classic is all about. There have been some bad Twins teams throughout the franchise's history. The early 1980's and mid 1990's come to mind as some rough times in the not so distant past. Over the last handful of years, there have been some of the organization's worst teams but those teams still get an All-Star representative.Here are my picks for the top five worst All-Star selections in Twins history. I took into consideration the player's career WAR total and the season in which the player was elected but there have been some bad players who were able to put the title of All-Star next to their name. 5. Joe Mays, 2001 All-Star (Career 9.0 WAR) The 2001 season was the only year Mays finished with an ERA under 4.00 and it was also his lone season of pitching more than 200 innings. He would actually lead the entire league in ERA+ that season but the rest of his career was hardly All-Star worthy. He struggled with injuries and posted a career 5.05 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Almost all of his WAR value was accumulated during the 2001 campaign when he finished in the top 10 for WAR. 4. Dave Engle, 1984 All-Star (Career 3.9 WAR) Engle, the brother-in-law of Tom Brunansky, was the team's lone representative in 1984. He wasn't even having that great of a season when he was elected. He hit .266/.308/.353 with four home runs and 20 doubles during the 1984 campaign. He actually finished ninth on the team in WAR behind the likes of Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett, and Gary Gaetti. Maybe he was being rewarded for his 1983 season where he combined for a .800 OPS with 34 extra-base hits. 3. Tim Laudner, 1988 All-Star (Career 3.2 WAR) The two catchers on the AL roster in 1988 were Terry Steinbach and Tim Laudner. Minnesota was coming off the World Series victory and more of the team's players were represented on the roster including Kirby Puckett, Frank Viola, Jeff Reardon and Gary Gaetti. Laudner played in a career-high 117 games in 1988 and hit .251/.316/.408 with 13 home runs and 18 doubles. However, he allowed the second most stolen bases in the AL and he would play only one more season at the big league level. 2. Eduardo Nunez, 2016 All-Star (Career 2.1 WAR) Nunez is thriving in one of his first opportunities to play on a regular basis. He played in 112 games for the Yankees in 2011 but those games resulted in a negative WAR total for the season (-0.5 WAR). His time in Minnesota has been more productive as he has been worth 3.7 WAR over the last three years. The Twins are bad this year and someone had to represent the team. My vote would have been for Brian Dozier but they didn't ask me. 1. Ron Coomer, 1999 All-Star (Career 1.4 WAR) The 1999 version of the Twins went 63-97 so there wasn't much to be excited about. Players like Corey Koskie, Jacque Jones and Terry Steinbach might have been more deserving of an All-Star selection as Koskie's WAR ended up being more than three times that of Coomer. Mr. Coomer was in a stretch of five straight seasons with 12 home runs or more and he combined for a .744 OPS during that stretch. In an era where baseballs were flying out of stadiums at a record pace, Coomer got to be on the same roster as the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez, and Jim Thome. There are my top-five worst Twins All-Stars of all-time. Should someone else have made the list? Who would be your worst Twins All-Star? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Click here to view the article
  7. Along with the three guests who will be interviewed during the party, there will be several others in attendance that you can meet and talk Twins with. All five of the Twins Daily owners will be there, along with frequent contributors Cody Christie, Jeremy Nygaard and AJ Pettersen. Some of the writers from Vikings Journal and Wild Xtra will also be there. There are still some tickets available for the Meltdown, so click here to secure yours today. In anticipation of our time with Tim Laudner, here are five of the most memorable moments of his professional career. (Check out Nick’s look at Jacque Jones’ Top 5 Moments from yesterday) 5. Drafted by his hometown Minnesota Twins in 1979 Though he was born in Mason City, Iowa, Laudner went to high school at Park Center in Brooklyn Park, MN. Following a strong high school career, he was selected in the 33rd round by the Cincinnati Reds. He didn’t sign, instead choosing to go to the University of Missouri. In 1979, he was the Twins' third-round pick. He signed and reported directly to Double-A Orlando. That year, the Twins used the 11th overall pick in the first round on a high school outfielder from Wisconsin named Kevin Brandt. Brandt played 45 games in Elizabethton in 1979. He played two games with the E-Twins in 1980, and that was it for his professional career. With their 2nd round pick, the Twins drafted Randy Bush out of the University of New Orleans. He debuted for the Twins in May of 1982 and remained with the organization until June of 1993. Laudner was the first Park Center grad to be drafted in the major league draft. Thirteen years later, Pat Neshek was drafted by the Twins out of Butler University. There may only be two Park Center kids ever drafted, but both had long MLB careers and each included a trip to the All-Star game. 4. Monster 1981 Season OK, it’s not really a moment, but it needs to be addressed. In 1981, Laudner spent the whole season in Orlando and had an incredible season. In 130 games, Laudner hit .284/.375/.628 (1.003) with 21 doubles and a tremendous 42 home runs. It’s very possible that he would have been promoted to the Twins earlier, but baseball was in the midst of a strike through much of the season. 3. Big-Time, Big League Debut After hitting those 42 home runs in Orlando, the Twins did promote Laudner to the big league club in late August. Manager Billy Gardner put him into the lineup on August 28, 1981. He was slotted into the eighth spot. He was also charged with catching right-handed veteran Fernando Arroyo against a strong Detroit Tigers lineup that included Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Lance Parrish and Kirk Gibson. Arroyo threw 6.1 shutout innings, and veteran left-hander Jerry Koosman (another Minnesota native who was a key component of the Miracle Mets in 1969) finished out the shutout with 2.2 scoreless frames. At the plate, Laudner took care of several “firsts” in his first game. His first at-bat came in the top of the third. He led off with a single to centerfield off Dave Rozema. Two innings later, he took his first walk. In the bottom of the 7th inning, Laudner connected for the first home run of his career, a two-run blast off of Rozema. He made out in his final at-bat of the day, but ended the game by going 2-3 with a walk and a homer in his major league debut. Fun Fact: The next day, Laudner hit his second big league home run (and 44th homer of his 1981 season). It came against lefty Dan Schatzeder who was his teammate on the 1987 team. 2. 1988 All Star Game The 1988 American League All-Star roster was very interesting, but particularly so to fans of the Minnesota Twins. A quick look at the starting lineup shows five Hall of Famers to go along with three guys associated with Tony LaRussa and the Oakland A’s. Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield and Terry Steinbach, all Minnesota natives, were in the starting lineup. The Twins were very well represented at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. As a result of winning the 1987 World Series championship, Tom Kelly was the manager of the American League roster. He brought much of his coaching staff with him. Dick Such (pitching coach), Rich Stelmaszek (bullpen coach), Rick Renick (bench coach) and Wayne Terwilliger (first base coach) were on his staff. Frank Viola was named the starting pitcher for the game. Kelly also named Kirby Puckett, Gary Gaetti, Jeff Reardon and Tim Laudner. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLae8JoetqM After famously hitting just .191 during the regular season during the championship 1987 season, Laudner had a much better season in 1988 and earned a spot on the team. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Laudner replaced pitcher Mark Gubicza in the lineup but Terry Steinbach at the catcher position. He came to bat with no one on and two outs in the top of the 7th inning. Against Mark Davis of the Padres, a closer who went on to win the 1989 Cy Young Award in the NL, Laudner hit a double. 1. Game 2 of the 1987 World Series The Twins won Games 1 and 2 of the 1987 World Series at the Metrodome. The Twins won Game 1 by a score of 10-1. They used a six-run fourth inning to take a 7-0 lead and won the game 8-4. Laudner played a big part in that game. In that big fourth inning, Laudner stepped to the plate with the Twins leading 3-0 and runners on second and third. He singled to left field scoring Gary Gaetti from third base. Randy Bush was at second and was waved around third. There was a close play at the plate, but Twins fans old enough to remember 1987 will remember Randy Bush’s remarkable slide. In the sixth inning, Laudner hit a solo home run to give the Twins an 8-1 lead. Following the game, Laudner was interviewed on the field by Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson who was working for ABC Sports at that time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEDM8KSPafc Laudner certainly had more great moments in baseball. He hit 77 home runs. Three times, he hit two home runs in a game. He hit a home run off of Roger Clemens, who should be a Hall of Famer. He hit homers against Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers and, another ’87 World Series teammate, Bert Blyleven. If you would like to hear more about these moments from Laudner’s career and other stories from the Fox Sports North analyst, join us at Mason’s on Saturday night from 5-8. Get your tickets here.
  8. On Saturday night, Twins Daily will be hosting the 2nd Annual Winter Meltdown. We are thrilled that we will be joined by Twins President Dave St. Peter, and former Twins Jacque Jones and Tim Laudner. Laudner was a member of the Twins 1987 World Series championship team and spent nine seasons with the Twins, from 1981 through 1989. He has been a Twins analyst the last several years for Fox Sports North.Along with the three guests who will be interviewed during the party, there will be several others in attendance that you can meet and talk Twins with. All five of the Twins Daily owners will be there, along with frequent contributors Cody Christie, Jeremy Nygaard and AJ Pettersen. Some of the writers from Vikings Journal and Wild Xtra will also be there. There are still some tickets available for the Meltdown, so click here to secure yours today. In anticipation of our time with Tim Laudner, here are five of the most memorable moments of his professional career. (Check out Nick’s look at Jacque Jones’ Top 5 Moments from yesterday) 5. Drafted by his hometown Minnesota Twins in 1979 Though he was born in Mason City, Iowa, Laudner went to high school at Park Center in Brooklyn Park, MN. Following a strong high school career, he was selected in the 33rd round by the Cincinnati Reds. He didn’t sign, instead choosing to go to the University of Missouri. In 1979, he was the Twins' third-round pick. He signed and reported directly to Double-A Orlando. That year, the Twins used the 11th overall pick in the first round on a high school outfielder from Wisconsin named Kevin Brandt. Brandt played 45 games in Elizabethton in 1979. He played two games with the E-Twins in 1980, and that was it for his professional career. With their 2nd round pick, the Twins drafted Randy Bush out of the University of New Orleans. He debuted for the Twins in May of 1982 and remained with the organization until June of 1993. Laudner was the first Park Center grad to be drafted in the major league draft. Thirteen years later, Pat Neshek was drafted by the Twins out of Butler University. There may only be two Park Center kids ever drafted, but both had long MLB careers and each included a trip to the All-Star game. 4. Monster 1981 Season OK, it’s not really a moment, but it needs to be addressed. In 1981, Laudner spent the whole season in Orlando and had an incredible season. In 130 games, Laudner hit .284/.375/.628 (1.003) with 21 doubles and a tremendous 42 home runs. It’s very possible that he would have been promoted to the Twins earlier, but baseball was in the midst of a strike through much of the season. 3. Big-Time, Big League Debut After hitting those 42 home runs in Orlando, the Twins did promote Laudner to the big league club in late August. Manager Billy Gardner put him into the lineup on August 28, 1981. He was slotted into the eighth spot. He was also charged with catching right-handed veteran Fernando Arroyo against a strong Detroit Tigers lineup that included Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Lance Parrish and Kirk Gibson. Arroyo threw 6.1 shutout innings, and veteran left-hander Jerry Koosman (another Minnesota native who was a key component of the Miracle Mets in 1969) finished out the shutout with 2.2 scoreless frames. At the plate, Laudner took care of several “firsts” in his first game. His first at-bat came in the top of the third. He led off with a single to centerfield off Dave Rozema. Two innings later, he took his first walk. In the bottom of the 7th inning, Laudner connected for the first home run of his career, a two-run blast off of Rozema. He made out in his final at-bat of the day, but ended the game by going 2-3 with a walk and a homer in his major league debut. Fun Fact: The next day, Laudner hit his second big league home run (and 44th homer of his 1981 season). It came against lefty Dan Schatzeder who was his teammate on the 1987 team. 2. 1988 All Star Game The 1988 American League All-Star roster was very interesting, but particularly so to fans of the Minnesota Twins. A quick look at the starting lineup shows five Hall of Famers to go along with three guys associated with Tony LaRussa and the Oakland A’s. Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield and Terry Steinbach, all Minnesota natives, were in the starting lineup. The Twins were very well represented at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. As a result of winning the 1987 World Series championship, Tom Kelly was the manager of the American League roster. He brought much of his coaching staff with him. Dick Such (pitching coach), Rich Stelmaszek (bullpen coach), Rick Renick (bench coach) and Wayne Terwilliger (first base coach) were on his staff. Frank Viola was named the starting pitcher for the game. Kelly also named Kirby Puckett, Gary Gaetti, Jeff Reardon and Tim Laudner. After famously hitting just .191 during the regular season during the championship 1987 season, Laudner had a much better season in 1988 and earned a spot on the team. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Laudner replaced pitcher Mark Gubicza in the lineup but Terry Steinbach at the catcher position. He came to bat with no one on and two outs in the top of the 7th inning. Against Mark Davis of the Padres, a closer who went on to win the 1989 Cy Young Award in the NL, Laudner hit a double. 1. Game 2 of the 1987 World Series The Twins won Games 1 and 2 of the 1987 World Series at the Metrodome. The Twins won Game 1 by a score of 10-1. They used a six-run fourth inning to take a 7-0 lead and won the game 8-4. Laudner played a big part in that game. In that big fourth inning, Laudner stepped to the plate with the Twins leading 3-0 and runners on second and third. He singled to left field scoring Gary Gaetti from third base. Randy Bush was at second and was waved around third. There was a close play at the plate, but Twins fans old enough to remember 1987 will remember Randy Bush’s remarkable slide. In the sixth inning, Laudner hit a solo home run to give the Twins an 8-1 lead. Following the game, Laudner was interviewed on the field by Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson who was working for ABC Sports at that time. Laudner certainly had more great moments in baseball. He hit 77 home runs. Three times, he hit two home runs in a game. He hit a home run off of Roger Clemens, who should be a Hall of Famer. He hit homers against Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers and, another ’87 World Series teammate, Bert Blyleven. If you would like to hear more about these moments from Laudner’s career and other stories from the Fox Sports North analyst, join us at Mason’s on Saturday night from 5-8. Get your tickets here. Click here to view the article
  9. Laudner played nine seasons with the Twins, retiring towards the end of spring training in 1990. He also played high school football, where he was an all-state tight end, and high school baseball with Park Center, where he mostly pitched, including starting the semi-final state championship game in 1975. But in the summer of 1976 he converted to catcher and attended the University of Missouri. Three years later, he was drafted by the Twins and slugged 42 home runs in AA before getting called up to replace the injured Butch Wynegar in 1981. Laudner homered in both of his first two games with the Twins and went on to post double-digit home runs in four of his seasons and was named an All-Star in 1988. Since retirement he has worked as a project manager, run a Big League Baseball Camp and works as an analyst at Fox Sport North and Fox Sports Wisconsin. We're thrilled that he is interested in hanging out with the Twins Daily community and know you won't want to miss it, so here are the details: January 24th, from 5-8, at Mason's. Just walk the block from Target Field and TwinsFest and join us. Question & answers with Minnesota Twins President Dave St. Peter, Twins alum catcher and .... you'll need to wait until Monday to find out. Two free beers from local craft brewery 612 Brew. Drink Drink specials from Dobel Tequila and Three Olives Vodka. The limited edition Twins Daily Winter Meltdown Pint Glass Tickets go on sale Tuesday RIGHT HERE for $25! We sold out last year within hours. Plus the price goes up to $30 on Wednesday. PLEASE don't miss out. ~~~ Wednesday morning update: Time for a Meltdown! (The good kind.) Last year, the 1st Annual Twins Daily Winter Meltdown featured Twins president Dave St. Peter, former Twins pitcher Scott Erickson and Miguel Sano documentarian Jon Paley. Over 200 people showed up and advance tickets sold out inside of four hours. As with seemingly everything this community does, the stories that came out of it were legendary. Let’s do that again. On Saturday the 24th, from 5:00 to 8:00, we’ll be throwing the 2nd Annual Twins Daily Winter Meltdown. You can walk over from TwinsFest because the event will be just a block away, at Mason’s Restaurant and Barre on 6th and Hennepin. Not only will you get to gather with Twins Daily writers and members and talk Hot Stove, but we’ll include: A Twins Daily Winter Meltdown Pint Glass Two complimentary local craft beers from 612 Brew Drink specials on Dobel Tequila shots and Three Olives Naked Vodka drinks. Aaron Gleeman and John “Twins Geek” Bonnes interviewing three special Twins guests. We’ll announce two of the guests on Friday and Monday morning, but we can confirm that we’ll lead off with Twins President Dave St. Peter. St. Peter has served as President of the Twins since 2002, overseeing a decade of success, a move to Target Field and the recent struggles of the team. He has also made enormous efforts to engage Twins fans directly, including a very active (and popular) Twitter account. We really appreciate his support. And, you’ll be treated to some fantastic locally brewed beer from 612 Brew in Northeast Minneapolis. This is 612 Brew’s second year sponsoring our Meltdown and they have supported various Twins Daily and Gleeman and the Geek events for several years. They are some of the more creative brewers in the city, as their beer list details. Last year, the tricky part was getting tickets, and that could be true again. Tickets are $30, but because we want to reward those folks who stop by Twins Daily every day, they’ll be on sale for $25 the first day of the sale, TUESDAY (1/13). Even more importantly, last year they sold out by noon on the first day, so I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you find a way to stop by TwinsDaily.com this Tuesday morning when they go on sale at 8AM at Twins Daily and get your tickets. Want to bring friends and family? Great. Mason’s is known for their fantastic food. Also, kids under 21 are absolutely welcome if they would like to meet or ask questions of our guests. (You’ll need ID to get any alcohol.) So please join us for our biggest event of the year. It’s easy, it’s affordable, it’s crazy fun and you’re going to be kicking yourself that weekend if you can’t be there. Stop by tomorrow for more news on our guests or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
  10. The guest list for the Twins Daily Winter Meltdown continues to grow! We're very excited to announce that Tim Laudner will be joining us to talk about the 1987 World Series, catcher framing, moving from player to media, and maybe show off what a World Series ring looks like. Laudner is best known to Twins fans as being the starting catcher of the 1987 World Champion Twins. In that seven-game Championship series versus the Cardinals, he started every game, hitting .318 (with a .444 OBP).Laudner played nine seasons with the Twins, retiring towards the end of spring training in 1990. He also played high school football, where he was an all-state tight end, and high school baseball with Park Center, where he mostly pitched, including starting the semi-final state championship game in 1975. But in the summer of 1976 he converted to catcher and attended the University of Missouri. Three years later, he was drafted by the Twins and slugged 42 home runs in AA before getting called up to replace the injured Butch Wynegar in 1981. Laudner homered in both of his first two games with the Twins and went on to post double-digit home runs in four of his seasons and was named an All-Star in 1988. Since retirement he has worked as a project manager, run a Big League Baseball Camp and works as an analyst at Fox Sport North and Fox Sports Wisconsin. We're thrilled that he is interested in hanging out with the Twins Daily community and know you won't want to miss it, so here are the details: January 24th, from 5-8, at Mason's. Just walk the block from Target Field and TwinsFest and join us.Question & answers with Minnesota Twins President Dave St. Peter, Twins alum catcher and .... you'll need to wait until Monday to find out.Two free beers from local craft brewery 612 Brew. DrinkDrink specials from Dobel Tequila and Three Olives Vodka.The limited edition Twins Daily Winter Meltdown Pint GlassTickets go on sale Tuesday RIGHT HERE for $25! We sold out last year within hours. Plus the price goes up to $30 on Wednesday. PLEASE don't miss out.~~~ Wednesday morning update: Time for a Meltdown! (The good kind.) Last year, the 1st Annual Twins Daily Winter Meltdown featured Twins president Dave St. Peter, former Twins pitcher Scott Erickson and Miguel Sano documentarian Jon Paley. Over 200 people showed up and advance tickets sold out inside of four hours. As with seemingly everything this community does, the stories that came out of it were legendary. Let’s do that again. On Saturday the 24th, from 5:00 to 8:00, we’ll be throwing the 2nd Annual Twins Daily Winter Meltdown. You can walk over from TwinsFest because the event will be just a block away, at Mason’s Restaurant and Barre on 6th and Hennepin. Not only will you get to gather with Twins Daily writers and members and talk Hot Stove, but we’ll include: A Twins Daily Winter Meltdown Pint GlassTwo complimentary local craft beers from 612 BrewDrink specials on Dobel Tequila shots and Three Olives Naked Vodka drinks.Aaron Gleeman and John “Twins Geek” Bonnes interviewing three special Twins guests.We’ll announce two of the guests on Friday and Monday morning, but we can confirm that we’ll lead off with Twins President Dave St. Peter. St. Peter has served as President of the Twins since 2002, overseeing a decade of success, a move to Target Field and the recent struggles of the team. He has also made enormous efforts to engage Twins fans directly, including a very active (and popular) Twitter account. We really appreciate his support. Download attachment: Dave St. Peter.jpg And, you’ll be treated to some fantastic locally brewed beer from 612 Brew in Northeast Minneapolis. This is 612 Brew’s second year sponsoring our Meltdown and they have supported various Twins Daily and Gleeman and the Geek events for several years. They are some of the more creative brewers in the city, as their beer list details. Last year, the tricky part was getting tickets, and that could be true again. Tickets are $30, but because we want to reward those folks who stop by Twins Daily every day, they’ll be on sale for $25 the first day of the sale, TUESDAY (1/13). Even more importantly, last year they sold out by noon on the first day, so I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you find a way to stop by TwinsDaily.com this Tuesday morning when they go on sale at 8AM at Twins Daily and get your tickets. Download attachment: Winter-Meltdown-2015-Pint-Glass_300.jpg Want to bring friends and family? Great. Mason’s is known for their fantastic food. Also, kids under 21 are absolutely welcome if they would like to meet or ask questions of our guests. (You’ll need ID to get any alcohol.) So please join us for our biggest event of the year. It’s easy, it’s affordable, it’s crazy fun and you’re going to be kicking yourself that weekend if you can’t be there. Stop by tomorrow for more news on our guests or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to view the article
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